My computer screen is shaking in front of my eyes, because I'm cooked! But I wanted to say howdy and update whats going on... today was the next on snow demo team training, which was outstanding. It was quite a challenge to come off four days on the couch and no sleep because both my kids are sick and waking me up every 20 minutes while I'm trying to recover from the same cold...
But I learned a lot. Todays discussion was on flexing and extending movements and how they relate to pressure maintenance and change. I have to say that it is a real honor to be a part of this group, there is so much trust! Our group has no leader, its a group of like minded pros that are all training toward the common goal of making it to the Alpine Demo team, and to that end, we've created an amazing space where we break down concepts and speak openly towards common understanding.
The thing that blows me away about this group is that it has yet to be hijacked and held captive by someone who needs to prove to the group that they have a certain level of understanding. This group is truly simply holding a discussion, coming up with some hypothesis on the snow, and then testing them to see if they are accurate. When we really click, its amazing to see how the concepts gell and how our skiing as a group gets exponentially better!
Tonight was another indoor MA session, this time with all the examiners talking about real vs. ideal in the bumps, both ski performance and body movements. Many of us in the room had been in team training on snow all day and had been really working hard on our MA as a result of trying to answer some of these very tricky questions about pressure. Because of that, Megan offered Cindy, Kristen and I up as sacrifical lambs to play with the examiners in MA.
I ended up getting Rotary and the summation after John Wiltchen and Squatty had tackled edging and fore/aft pressure, and foot to foot and maintinance/change respectively. I was slightly terrified, but with the help of Cindy's devlish smile, I let go of my fear and just talked as clearly and sucintly as I could about what I saw. I was proud of my ability to communicate what I saw, and I think I did a fairly decent job experessing it in a really high pressure environment. I'm glad I did it, even though I was truly terrified until I started talking.
One difference this time was that I wasn't listening to myself talk and asking, "Is this right? Is this what they want to hear? Do they agree with me?" I just said what I saw and why I thought I saw it. I think because of that it was clear, and even if I had been off the mark, I would have been glad to have finally hurdled my ability to just answer the question put to me.
I was just as happy to have my analysis be accurate, and defend-able, and to have been able to participate in the resulting discussion in an engaged, rather than scared or defensive way. I think THAT may be a result of actually having stated what I saw rather than worrying about whether what I saw was right or not. In any event, it went well, and I was proud, and REALLY grateful for all the work that Cindy and Shanzy and Kristen and Buddy have done with me over the summer in our MA workshops. Those guys worked diligently all summer long, and graciously included me when I came in the fall, and it had a profound affect on my ability to speak with confidence.
Course, it probably also was really helpful that Cindy came up to me one day and just said, "Hey, Kate. Cut out the bullshit. Stop apologizing. You know your shit. You have technical understanding. Just say what you want to say." Thank heavens for friends who give it to you straight!
Tomorrow will bring some more training on snow, and then... our first meeting of the Guest Service Task Force which I am the chair of! Oh my goodness, I'm excited and nervous. I'm really flattered to have been asked to chair this task force, and the people sitting on it are veterans of the industry. Cross your fingers, here we goooo!
I'm looking forward to writing a lot about what I'm working on in my skiing, the concepts we went through today were really revelatory. But right now, I'm off to bed, I'm bushed!